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Lang Son's last bears in captivity rescued, sent to sanctuary

By Ngoc Thanh   June 25, 2021 | 08:00 pm PT
The last three bears in captivity in the northern Lang Son Province were taken from a family and sent to a sanctuary Friday morning.

The endangered moon bears, two females and one male, were handed over by the family to animal welfare organization Animals Asia, according to the province forest protection department.

The bears had been held captive by the family since 2000, and rescuers had to tranquilize them to take them out of their cages, the department said.

A team from Animals Asia receive three bears held captive at a family in Lang Son Province, June 25, 2021. Video by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

The family had been persuaded to hand over the bears by the department and the wildlife protection organization Education for Nature Vietnam.

Named Hy Vong (Hope), Tuong Lai (Future) and Vui (Happy), the bears weigh around 150 kg each, but two of them have a hand missing.

They underwent medical checks and vets said they were healthy.

They are set to live out rest of their lives at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Center in Vinh Phuc, around two hours north of Hanoi.

Vietnam is home to the moon bear and sun bear, both listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

There are over 600 bears in farms, and only a few hundred in the wild. Many are kept in cages to extract their bile, believed to be a remedy for various ailments.

Commercial bear bile extraction was banned in 2005, but farms already possessing the animals were allowed to keep them.

 
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